Living in Washington, DC

Our Headquarters is in the heart of the commercial district of Washington, D.C. Over 90 percent of our staff work at Headquarters and live in the District of Columbia or in the nearby suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. The D.C. metropolitan area has one of the most highly developed public transportation networks in the U.S., and the IMF's Headquarters are located within a 10-minute walk of three subway stations.

Washington is not only the base of the U.S. government, but is also home to numerous international organizations, embassies, academic institutions, think-tanks, and national and international non-profit organizations. The D.C. metropolitan area is a hub for the practice of various types of law, as well as for the high-tech, bio-tech, and defense industries.

Washington is only known for its monuments and museums, but also for its diverse population, cultural offerings and green spaces. With professional baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer teams, the D.C. area is popular with sports fans. Nature lovers will find numerous state and national parks, mountains, rivers, and seashore all within a 3-hour drive as well as the beautiful Rock Creek Park in the center of the city. Theater and music enthusiasts will find many local entertainment venues and can enjoy the fact that New York City is less than 3-hours away by train. While many young professionals appreciate the fact that the city's singles population is well above the U.S. national average, families with children will also find a wide variety of activities and excellent schools.

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Cost of Living in Washington, D.C.

The cost of living in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is relatively high. Employees relocating to Washington from other parts of the U.S. may find this cost-of-living calculator helpful in comparing costs at their current location to Washington. This report from the U.S. Department of Labor will help employees relocating from outside the U.S. gain an understanding of what a typical American household spends on various categories of expenses.

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The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has a broad range of housing options, ranging from downtown apartments and condos to larger single-family homes in both the close-in neighborhoods and extensive suburbs. The housing market is very active for both renting and purchasing and most staff quickly find accommodations that meet their needs. However, whether you’re renting or ready to buy, guidance is available to help you find suitable housing based on your needs, working with preferred real estate agents and through access to the IMF’s credit union.

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Family Support

To assist your family in settling into American culture and the Washington, D.C. area, the IMF provides a variety of professional advisors, including:

  • Childcare and Preschool Consultant
  • Education Consultant
  • Legal Services Consultant
  • Immigration and Visa Services Consultant
  • Financial Planning Consultant
  • Family Consultation Service
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    Spouse/Partner Career Assistance

    The IMF Spouse & Domestic Partners Career Service assists spouses and work-authorization eligible domestic partners of IMF staff members to understand the local job market, identify opportunities, and successfully find employment where they can apply their expertise and skills and further their career goals.

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    IMF Family Association

    The IMF Family Association (IMFFA) provides a welcoming, supportive community for IMF families. Membership is open to all spouses and partners of IMF employees. For complete information and details about upcoming activities, please contact the association at

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    The IMF is a highly collaborative and social environment. This continues beyond work tasks, with approximately 30 different staff-run clubs and societies reflecting the varied interests and activities of the IMF staff. They include watching (and playing) sports, skiing, photography, choral, and cultural clubs. The D.C. area is known for its international residents, museums, parks, restaurants, and nightlife, making it a great place to live for every lifestyle.

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    The IMF hosts larger events where the families and friends of staff members can participate. These events include a multi-sports day held at Bretton Woods Recreation Center, annual holiday party held every December, and a children’s party.